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In brief: Thieves snort man's remains

Burglars snorted the cremated remains of a man and two dogs in the mistaken belief that they had stolen illegal drugs, Florida sheriff's deputies said on Wednesday.

The ashes were taken from a woman's home in the town of Silver Springs Shores on December 15. The thieves took an urn containing the ashes of her father and another with the ashes of her two Great Danes, the Marion County Sheriff's Office said.

FBI agents net spider smuggler

A German national who shipped hundreds of live tarantulas into the US through the mail has pleaded guilty to a federal smuggling charge, prosecutors said.

Sven Koppler (37) admitted mailing some 247 live tarantulas to federal agents in Los Angeles, who were posing as buyers as part of an investigation dubbed 'Operation Spiderman'.

Suburb keeps up with the Jonases

A Dallas suburb, home to teen pop group Jonas Brothers and the Texas Rangers baseball team owner Chuck Greenberg, is the most affluent neighbourhood in the US, according to Forbes.com.

The town of Westlake, Texas, has an estimated annual median household income of $250,000 (€185,800).

Astronaut back to earth with a bump

A US astronaut has lost his place on a space shuttle mission next month after falling off his bicycle.

Tim Kopra was injured in a cycling accident. His place as the lead spacewalker will be taken by another astronaut, Steve Bowen.

Paul the octopus scores memorial

Paul, the octopus who shot to fame with his accurate World Cup predictions, is being immortalised in a memorial at the Sea Life aquarium in Oberhausen, Germany.

The memorial, a 6ft 6in high plastic replica of Paul clutching a ball in his eight arms, also contains his cremated ashes in a gold-leaf-covered urn inside the ball.

Chef cops jail term for hair sandwich

A former cook at a New Jersey restaurant has been sentenced to 15 days in jail for adding an unwelcome ingredient to a policeman's bagel after the officer had booked him for a traffic offence.

Ryan Burke (27) admitted putting his own body hair in the sandwich and pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and retaliation for a past official action.

Irish Independent